LODI (CBS13) — She is a self-professed former prostitute turned pastor who’s now joining the Lodi Police Department as its newest chaplain.
It’s a remarkable turnaround in Amy Miranda’s life from one side of the law to the other.
“I put it out there in the front,” Miranda said. “I put down people’s guards, and if they want to talk about something (they say) ‘well, she’s pretty open.'”
Miranda is a pastor at Lodi’s Century Assembly Church, and she is not shy.
Even in the church sanctuary, she will talk about her past life of sin.
“I would travel for johns,” Miranda said.
Her application to become Lodi’s next police chaplain stood out from the rest.
“One of the questions is ‘have you participated in prostitution,'” Miranda said. “And I just put, ‘well I was one.’ And ‘have you been to a strip club?’ Well, I was one. And ‘have you done drugs?’ And so I listed them all.”
In her church office, Miranda has a photo of herself as a 5-year-old.
“Little did she know she would be a prostitute,” Miranda said.
She also shared a photo of her days as a prostitute and drug-addict. But those days were decades ago.
Pastor Miranda left that life and found her faith after becoming pregnant. She joined Century Assembly Church where her grandmother was a parishioner.
Now she’s a pastor at the church, who sometimes holds dance classes for seniors amazed by her moves.
“And I love how the seniors at the church when I do it they’ll say, ‘Oh honey, we just love your dance, you know, were you a ballerina,’ and I’ll say ‘No, Bertha, remember I was a stripper.'” Miranda said.
Miranda now has a husband and two adult children.
No longer a target of police work, she will be working for the police.
“Having been an addict and sucked the life out of a community and the negative that I brought into a community, I’m excited about the positive that I can bring,” Miranda said.
It’s a past from which some would hide. This new Lodi police chaplain is using it to help.
“I’m finding that the more open you are with your past, the less it holds you back,” Miranda said.
She will be getting her Lodi police chaplaincy badge next week. She will serve for at least one year.